Diabetes Management

Diabetes Diet: 20 Fruits That Are Good for People With Diabetes

November 2019

If you’ve ever consulted a dietician, one of the first things they recommend is that you eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of three heavy meals. This helps keep your blood sugar levels stable instead of big spikes and drop, which are detrimental to your health.

Snacking in between can be tricky for some people and is the easiest time to eat something unhealthy. One healthy and nutritious option is eating fruits. Yes, you heard that right!

Is Fruits Good for Diabetes?

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to diabetes and fruits – today we’re going to help clarify these.

Since people with diabetes tend to cut off sugar from their diet, they feel that fruits (that are naturally sweet) are also a no-no for them. However, fruits are packed with vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories and make for a very healthy snack choice!

The key to distinguishing between healthy and not-so-healthy fruits (for people with diabetes) is the Glycemic Index (GI) score. GI helps determine how fast or show a food will raise your blood sugar levels after you’ve eaten it.

It is ranked on a scale of 0-100 with 0 being water that doesn’t affect your blood sugar levels to 100 being glucose that has the worst effect.

Here’s a list of 20 fruits that people with diabetes can eat without worrying about your blood sugar levels spiking:

1. Apples

They weren’t bluffing when they said that an apple a day can keep the doctor away! Rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre, apples are excellent at preventing blood sugar fluctuations. Feel free to snack on these raw and fresh.

2. Oranges

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) considers citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits and lemons) to be diabetes superfoods. Oranges, in particular, are rich in Vitamin C, fibre, potassium, folates, flavonols, flavanones and phenolic acid, all of which are good for people with diabetes.

3. Black Jamuns

The best fruit for people with diabetes – undoubtedly! People even have the powdered seeds of this fruit to keep their blood sugar levels in check.

4. Watermelons

A refreshing summer delight, this fruit is hydrating, rich in iron and low on sugar. Though watermelons have a high GI score, their overall Glycaemic load (the total amount of food needed to cause the spike in blood sugar levels) is very low – making them a healthy option for people with diabetes.

5. Guava

Rich in Vitamins A & C and fibre, guavas are good for controlling diabetes and constipation as it has a low GI score.

6. Papaya

Known to help people with diabetes reduce the risk of heart problems and nerve damage, this vitamin, mineral and antioxidant-rich fruit is a must in a diabetes diet.

7. Pineapples

Rich in anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, pineapples are also a healthy snack option for people with diabetes.

8. Pomegranates

The richest antioxidant fruit of all, pomegranates are known to protect you from free radicals. Feel free to snack on a handful of these red pearls whenever they are in season.

9. Jackfruits

A powerhouse of nutrients, jackfruits contain Vitamins A & C, potassium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, calcium and manganese and much more. Known to improve insulin resistance, jackfruits should definitely find a spot in your diet.

10. Grapes

Known to modulate the blood glucose response thanks to a phytochemical called Resveratrol, grapes are a healthy snack that you should not skip!

11. Strawberries

They help improve immunity, have cancer-fighting abilities and help lose weight by boosting metabolism – making this low GI fruit a must- have!

12. Cherries

Rich in a pigment known as anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid, cherries are known to boost the cell’s ability to produce insulin considerably.

13. Starfruits

Healthy for people with diabetes like black jamuns but should be avoided for people with diabetic nephropathy.

14. Kiwis

This antioxidant-rich fuzzy, green fruit is rich in Vitamins A & C and has very low amounts of sugar. It is known to slow down the release of glucose which prevents a spike in blood sugar levels.

15. Plums

These delicious purple treats are great for everyone, including those who have diabetes! Yes, that’s right! With only 7 grams of sugar per fruit, this sweet treat can be enjoyed at any time of the day!

16. Peaches

A sweet-tasting fruit that doesn’t contain a lot of sugar – have one of these next time you have a sweet craving! They are rich in fibre and make for a great mid-day snack.

17. Raspberries

This one’s a hit amongst people with a sweet tooth! Raspberries contain only 5 gm of sugar per cup and are loaded with fibre which will keep you feeling full for long.

18. Blackberries

Rich in antioxidants & fibre and low in sugar content makes them a healthy option.

19. Blueberries

Just like cherries, blueberries are also rich in anthocyanins and are known to lower the risk of diabetes.

20. Avocados

This fruit is not only low in sugar but is also known to lower the levels of bad cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy food!

A word of caution: Fruits are best eaten as snacks in between meals instead of eating them with the main meals as they add to the carb count and cause your blood sugar levels to rise.

Apart from this, always remember to practice portion control and keep a check on how often you eat these fruits.

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